Development of Supply Chain E-Collaboration Platform for 1,700-Store Retailer Auchan

Customer

Founded in France in 1961, Auchan is an international retail chain that runs 1,700+ hypermarkets and supermarkets with 330,000+ employees across 16 countries in Europe, Asia and Africa. The 11th largest food retailer in the world, Auchan reported €63 billion in revenue as of 2014.

Groupe Auchan consists of a federation of autonomous companies that operate in five core business areas: ‘all-under-one-roof’ hypermarkets, supermarkets, e-commerce, real estate and banking.

Challenge

Auchan was looking to create a buyer-vendor e-collaboration, supply chain and food distribution software to bring together its European branches. The goals were to gain visibility into every stage of the supply chain, optimize inventory management, enable demand planning and actively involve vendors in stock monitoring to avoid out-of-stocks.

Solution

ScienceSoft delivered an Oracle-based e-collaboration platform for Auchan category managers, buyers and vendors to enable a full-scale supply chain and inventory management that featured:

  • a complete, updateable SKU database that can be searched by such parameters as categories, manufacturers, prices, quantities and more
  • role-based user accounts including category managers, store managers, vendors, merchandise managers, accountants, etc.
  • document templates (e.g. purchase orders and emails to vendors)
  • automated issuing and tracking of purchase orders to/by Auchan vendors
  • integration of real-time data on the supply chain provided by buyers, accountants, vendors, checkouts, store managers, etc.
  • trackable communication enabled between Auchan buyers and vendors
  • real-time report generation

Results

The delivered e-collaboration platform became a go-to solution for the buyers and vendors of Auchan, one of the world’s top retailers. The platform helps to maintain a high quality and relevance of data that is instrumental for effective supply chain and inventory management. A complete set of its functions allows to

  • gain in-depth visibility into buying and selling processes in real time
  • minimize out-of-stock levels with vendors’ prompt participation and ongoing stock monitoring
  • facilitate demand planning with advanced analytics and real-time reports
  • reduce costs and time required for supply chain management operations due to automation

The remote 24/7 access for both Auchan buyers and vendors means data is kept up-to-date no matter where the platform users are located. The platform’s exceptional ease-of-use also contributes to high user buy-ins and helps to minimize the possibility of human errors in handling critical data.

Technologies and Tools

Frontend: HTML/DHTML, XML

Backend: JEE, Servlets/JSP, Spring, Hibernate, JUnit, Oracle Application Server

Database: Oracle Database Server

Tools: log4j, Ant, IntelliJ IDEA, TOAD, PR-Tracker Web Client, WinCVS